After last night’s State of the Union address given by President Obama, Republican Senator Marco Rubio gave what’s called the Republican, or Opposition Response to the President. It is an odd and awkward role for a politician—while the Leader of the Free World gets center stage in front of a joint session of Congress, the opposition politician is usually a young, up-and-coming member of congress who stands alone, in a room—just he and the camera, taking jabs at the President of the United States.
Yes, it is odd. And made still odder still by a only-on-live-TV moment when the clearly nervous Senator Rubio, took a moment to desperately grab a sip of water from a bottle placed wwaaaaay too far off camera—in order to quench what could only be assumed was a case of nervous dry mouth.
We’ve all been there. Our nerves sometimes can get the best of us while speaking in front of a group; our body sweats on the outside, and our mouths dry up on the inside. Water quenches our thirst, and stops—for a second, our bout with nervous energy. Most expert speakers prepare for such events. Unfortunately, Rubio did not, and was caught awkwardly ducking out of frame to grab, and then sip from a mini-bottle of Poland Spring.
But for Rubio, who was later called-out by the reverend Al Sharpton as a man better suited to perform at “Amateur Night at the Apollo,” made a genius move of self-awareness when he followed his address by tweeting a simple, stark picture of the Poland Spring bottle he'd taken a sip from. It was retweeted 1,400 times in seven minutes; an hour later, it had been retweeted 3,500 times.
So, while the video of Rubio will be seen a million times across the web, and he may be forever known as the awkward young Senator who was ill-prepared for his big moment, at least his post-moment of self-awareness can remind us that we’re all human, and that recovery from failure is sometimes more long lasting than the failure itself.